Prepare in advance for back to school

Be careful of the pressures of gift season

The festive season brings, in a pretty-packed box, every excuse to blow up the budget without considering the needs of the near future.

January, mostly referred to as Januworry or the longest month of the year, is just around the corner, giving one a good reason to get ready for the back to school headache.

The gift season mounts pressure on many to jump for billboard deals, causing one to overspend on family, friends and even colleagues without considering how to survive the next month.

School fees, uniform and stationery are unavoidable expenses that need to be paid for, but they unfortunately only appear on the radar when the budget has already been blown.

Bling queen Khanyi Mbau says there is nothing more important than her child’s education – she prefers preparing for her education while everyone is still in the festive mood.

“I buy stationery and uniform now over the festive season, and her fees are paid in full. Come January her books, school wear and monies are ready.

“Then two weeks before school reopens, she goes back to her morning routine of waking up early to get it back into her system,” she says.
Mbau says people should not be lost in the December hype, but should treat it as any other month, to ensure that they don’t go over budget.

Here are some tips on how to stay within budget over the festive season and look forward to a healthy back-to-school season:

• Prioritise – buy school essentials before the back-to-school hype takes over as the demand for school necessities may lead to price increases.

• Compare prices and quality of items: Shop around for the most affordable, yet durable items so that you don’t have to buy uniform every year.

• Teach your children to appreciate less expensive value and help them understand the need to focus on education instead of material things.

• Lay-by for school purchases. If you pay for your purchases over a few months, it eases the pressure of the January budget.

By Boitumelo Kgobotlo

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